Sudan conflict: Army outnumbered on Khartoum’s streets


The Sudanese army’s infantry battalions have hardly been present on the streets of Khartoum during the two months-long conflict that has raged in the country, leaving much of the capital under the control of the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

This is despite the fact that the army is made up of about 200,000 soldiers, roughly twice the size of the RSF.

Yet the army is heavily outnumbered on the streets of Khartoum, as well as the two cities across the River Nile – Bahri and Omdurman.

RSF fighters were initially moving around the three cities in their armed pick-up vehicles, but they now mostly use ordinary cars.

Huge numbers of people have complained on social media about the RSF stealing their cars from their homes. The suspicion is that the RSF is using them to avoid being hit by air strikes.

With its airpower being its greatest strength, the military has been constantly carrying out strikes to weaken the RSF. Although they are believed to have killed hundreds of civilians, they have not prevented the paramilitaries from advancing in Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman.

In a serious blow to the army, RSF fighters carried out an assault earlier this month on al-Yarmouk, one of Sudan’s biggest military complexes, where arms were manufactured and stored.

While a fire raged at the complex for days, the RSF declared that it had seized control of it, which was confirmed by local residents. The military, however, has not confirmed the loss of the complex.